About the event: 3-5 May, 2019

We are thrilled to welcome you to the GANZ Community Gathering for 2019, held at the picturesque
Q Station in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.


Q Station
Manly, Sydney, Australia


3-5 May, 2019
Friday 3pm – Sunday 4pm

Theme of the Gathering

The pursuit of understanding, allowing and living our differences in a spirit of genuine dialogue is a challenge for our times.

Our world is saturated with devaluing isms, undermining phobias and multiple associated acts of discrimination. And yet across the globe we are witnessing an increasing number of transformative acts by ordinary people emboldened to challenge widespread prejudices and abuses of power.

The founders of Gestalt therapy transformed the nature and practice of psychotherapy over 60 years ago. And now, in our fragmented and disconnected modern times, from the consulting room to the broader world there are growing calls for humanity to again transform the personal, interpersonal, ecological and socio-political dimensions of our relating, and become more compassionate human beings.

One intention of our Gathering is to broaden our understanding of contemporary constraints to human development and identify the catalysts that energise meaningful change and deeper transformation. And of course, we will identify together what our radical Gestalt tradition has to offer.

Gathering together

Together as a collective of practitioners, educators, writers, researchers and students, who share a diversity of histories, theories, workplaces and experiences we will express in words, art and embodiment what matters to us.

Join the conversation

Every person is a potential keynote speaker!

We have all experienced the usual approach to conferences that relies on a program of presenters and keynote speakers. This time, the organisers are not calling for papers and workshops as in other years. The feedback from the 2017 GANZ Conference was that people wanted more time to create meaningful connections within the community.

Our two and half-days together will offer that opportunity, focussing on the Gestalt approach, and what we can learn from others, guided by the theme. The outcomes of our Gathering will also support the ongoing work of the GANZ Council.

In the lead up to the event

To support our dialogue and maximise our participation, in the lead up to the Gathering you will receive a series of pre-conference activities that will guide your inquiry into the theme – Catalysts for Transformation: Diversity, inequality, dialogue and ………? The intention of these self-directed activities is to warm you up to the theme from your perspective, and to support you to contribute what matters to you in your areas of interest.

Click here for pre-activity 1: Pre Gathering Hui Activity 1 for registrants

Click here for pre-activity 2:Pre Gathering Hui Activity 2 for registrants

How is the theme relevant to gestalt practitioners?

Gestalt therapy itself is a transformative process, and the structural flow of the Gathering program reflects the experience cycle applied to the theme, the whole community as well as to personal participation.
Our knowledge of the unified field makes it plain that even though many of us work in small rooms with individuals we are never separate from, nor immune to the influences of our wider world. Just as the human development and evolution we facilitate and witness in our work ripples beyond the boundaries of our work places, so too development that leads to transformation on a social level is beneficial to us all.

The people who engage with us unavoidably suffer from the structures and strategies of dominance and resistance in social relationships associated with class, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, language, religion, age, nationality and world-regions. These powerful dynamics organise our relationships with ourselves as well as with others and have lasting effects on our minds and societies.
Integral to our work as Gestalt practitioners is uncovering, revealing and disclosing strategies of manipulation and legitimation that contribute to prejudice and discrimination on an individual and social level.

Exploring, together

Together as a collective of practitioners, educators, writers, researchers and students, who share a diversity of histories, theories, workplaces and experiences we will explore the challenges that arise from these powerful dynamics through words, art and embodiment, to develop a deeper understanding of how these dynamics and the suffering they cause are transformed into well-being.

We will also explore our role in this process.

Why Come?

How could you not! Where else are you going to have the opportunity to gather with a group of people who share a passion for the gestalt approach and a desire to become more knowledgeable and skilled practitioners?

This Gathering offers a great opportunity to do so, as well as keeping the Gestalt modality alive and relevant within the current regulatory frameworks of psychotherapy and its training/education.
There has never been a better time for us as a community of people interested in health and well-being to grapple with the question: What constrains, facilitates and energises the needed transformations of our time to happen?

What will happen in sessions?

Each of the five three-hour sessions will be facilitated by members of the organising group and will have a specific focus related to the theme of the Gathering. Every session will:

(a) begin with a facilitated, novel and evocative experience to stimulate your presence and evoke an aspect of the theme (30 minutes);

(b) involve a self-organising discovery process with a wide range of formats that allows you to pursue what interests you in ways that relate to your style of learning (90 minutes including break) and;

(c) conclude with a facilitated creative process to support you to share your personal discoveries and harvest our collective wisdom in the large group (60 minutes).

This will be action research at its best!

In addition, our Gathering will be an opportunity to practice the intersubjective arts by honouring difference, encouraging complexity, practicing inclusion and expressing empathy. The aim is for us to further develop and enact the values we wish to live individually and communally.

Gathering Program

We have a stimulating and creative program to inspire you. Please click on the circular buttons below for further details of each session or click on the PDF link - GANZ Gathering Program - for a downloadable version of the program.
The Gathering will attract 18 PD Points
  • Day 1

    Friday, 3 May, 2019

  • 16:00 - 15:00

  • 17:00 - 17:30
    Welcome to country On the foreshore of Sydney Harbour, we will meet and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we gather. The ground on which we stand: Gathering together The ground from which we come shapes us. Knowing and appreciating our individual and communal ground – the geographical, psychological, community and familial lands of our origin - will inspire this moment of meeting each other through acknowledging and sharing our personal and communal ground.

  • 17:30 - 19:15
    Theme: In acts of mutual influence, we are continuously shaping and being shaped by our experiential worlds. Our attitudes and beliefs – conscious and unconscious – inform our every engagement with ourselves and those around us --- including the physical world in which we live. We tend to act in ways that are aligned with our attitudes and beliefs: these are the drivers of our acts of We are interested in uncovering our perceptual ground and its impact. Process: In the spirit of gathering together we will introduce ourselves in ways that reveal our attitudes and beliefs and help us know more the ground on which we stand. Incorporates pre-Gathering activity 1: Perception

  • 19:15 - 21:00
    Enjoy drinks and canapés whilst catching up with friends and colleagues by the beautiful Sydney harbour foreshore.

  • Day 2

    Saturday, 4 May, 2019

  • 08:00 - 09:00

  • 09:00
    Our time together: People, vision and program Orientation to venue.

  • 09:15 - 12.30
    Personal stories of transformation: Me and us – individual and community Theme: We have all experienced moments of transformation. They may be moments of our own or ones we have facilitated or witnessed. In these moments of gold some alchemy is at work. Through personal story telling we will establish a shared ground to help us uncover a range of catalysts for transformation. Process: Mingle to view poster gallery that depicts personal stories of transformation. Free-form conversations and large group sharing. The treasures in our stories: Uncovering catalysts for transformation Theme: Diversity, inequality and dialogue and their polarities of uniformity, equality and isolation reflect some “push and pull” catalysts for transformation. This list is not exhaustive, and this session will focus on eliciting other influences in our lived experience and emergent process that have acted and act as catalysts for transformation. We will focus on the what and how of these processes. Process: Beginning with our personal experience we will review our posters to elicit the catalysts for transformation at work in our lives. Free-form conversations and a live-poster making process will be used to illustrate the catalysts identified and to extend the list suggested in the theme statement. Incorporates pre-Gathering activity 2: Experience

  • 12:30
    Hospitality: Munch, mingle, meet and explore

  • 14:00
    Grappling with dilemmas: Theme: Delivering transformation on the ground often evokes resistance that reflects forces for change and sameness. Constraints to transformation are a universal phenomenon that have the capacity to generate endless dilemmas. This session will consider these dilemmas and how to work with them in specific areas of personal interest such as counselling, psychotherapy, social activism, research, GANZ and other organisations, community settings, politics and society etc. Process: Self-organising discovery groups to explore specific dilemmas that operate to constrain meaningful change and catalysts for transformation in your areas of interest. Free-form conversations and feedback session.

  • 18:00
    Hospitality: Celebrating being together - dine, dance and play! "Something I know how to do well, is to get therapists up dancing"... Rochelle Oshlack, renowned DJ will be sharing her grooves into the evening.

  • Day 3

    Sunday, 5 May, 2019

  • 08:30 - 09:30
    A Council facilitated opportunity to clarify the relationships between the roles and responsibilities of Council and the needs of members and the broader community.

  • 09:30
    Actions in the field: Engaging our interests Theme: Informed by the nature of constraints and resourced by a deeper understanding of catalysts for transformation this session will focus on areas of personal passion and our individual and collective desire to act. Intentions for action and support for acting will be identified with attention on how to transform constraining dilemmas in ourselves and others into meaningful action. Process: Self-organising discovery groups and presentation of proposals for action in soap-box feedback session. Incorporates pre-Gathering activity 3: Action

  • 12:30 - 14:00
    Hospitality: Munch, mingle, meet and network

  • 14:00 - 16:30
    Theme: Each one of us is the individual expression of our communities and our communities express themselves through us. Development in any location is mutually beneficial development and suffering in any location is shared suffering. This session will review what has emerged in our conversations and identify how we might go forward together as agents for transformation. Process: Whole group discussion and feedback on proposals, and potential mutual supports for action. Forming loose communities and sub-groups of interest and action.

  • 16:30
    Idea: In action rather than words we hope to express in a collective movement our experience of being together, our arising understanding of the theme and our emerging intentions as a flash-mob dance. Process: This expression of our Gathering would involve creating a choreography group that would work together to capture moments at our Gathering in movement. These moments in movement will be used as warm-ups and integration exercises across the Gathering, that will build into a whole to be practiced, expressed and filmed in the final session as an embodied and collective way to give expression to the experiences of gathering.

Our location

Q Station, Manly, Sydney, Australia

The picturesque waterside of Manly sets the scene for our Gathering. Being Autumn, the water will still be warm, as will the sun. The residential accommodation and natural environment have been chosen to inspire our contact and support our community conversations. Sprawling gardens, casual tea rooms, harbour side cafe & bar, along with an established colony of teeny weeny penguins will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing weekend get-away, whilst engaging with your community. There will be opportunities for informal catch up breaks alongside the program, and both Friday the Saturday night events promise exciting and fun social activities against the backdrop of Sydney harbour.

We have booked the whole place out!!! There are 3 bed cottages, share rooms and single suites available for the event. Unfortunately, there a limited amount of these, so please ensure you register soon to secure your accommodation. You can do this directly with the venue, and as a delegate, you will get a reduced rate.

As the onsite accomodation is limited, we encourage you to book early:


GANZ member: $395



student rate

*Please note, accommodation and transportation costs are additional

See you in May 2019

We hope that this gathering will be transformative for our Gestalt community. Whether you are a student, a therapist, an educator or a visitor to Gestalt, we look forward to welcoming you.

Contact the event organisers: